01 October 2013

My cooking is hit or miss

Last night I had a rough bout of insomnia. Insomnia is not the problem exactly, but rather a symptom of the midnight disease. So is this blog post.


2 X chromosomes
1 MC1R protein, mutated
1 tbsp social anxiety
3 cups introversion, divided
1 conservative family, roughly chopped
1 leftist tendency
2 cups wanderlust
dash of sarcasm
1/2 tsp listening skills (optional)
sensitivity (to taste)

1) Start with X chromosomes and add mutated MC1R protein. Blend until reddish color is achieved.

2) Quickly add social anxiety and 1 cup introversion. Mix in chopped conservative family.

3) Allow mixture to sit approximately 14 years. Then add leftist tendency and purée until smooth.

4) Pour in remaining 2 cups introversion and wanderlust.

5) Simmer for 4 years, then remove from heat and allow to cool off in the south of France.

6) Stir in sarcasm. Add listening skills, if desired.

7) Season with sensitivity and serve with reluctance.

22 August 2013

France, America, and the rubbing

I love France much in the way one loves a difficult family member. Not because you have anything in common, not because you understand each other. But if nothing else, you have fond memories together, or they’ve grown on you, and like it or not they’ve rubbed off on you.

Clinging to my roots like a child saying no for the sake of being defiant, I’ve compiled a list of ambivalently special all-American things in honor of my mother country and my foster nation.

1.      Camping, or Russian roulette with malaria

2.      Halloween, or annual fulfillment of nationwide escapist urges

3.      Walmart, or forgetting what dignity looks like

4.      Casual clothing, or wordlessly offending a Frenchman

5.      Loudness, or conversations for the whole room

6.      Guns and fireworks, or violent explosions in the name of patriotism

Resist assimilation, expatriates.

23 July 2013

Helsinki disaster averted, mostly

Helsinki is a HIM follower's Mecca. Seven years I have awaited this holy pilgrimage. The morning of my departure I was so excited I couldn't sit still. I triple-checked my luggage and travel documents, determined that everything be perfectly in order.

Our flight originates in Paris, so my friend and I rendezvous at the Bordeaux train station. We're half an hour early, so we stroll leisurely along the platform to where we expect our car will be.

Suddenly he flips around. "No, it's the other way," he says, and rushes in the opposite direction.

I maintain my stroll, trailing calmly behind him. "You're always in such a hurry," I tell him, unfazed by his sudden panic. We still have a solid eight minutes, and our train hasn't even arrived yet.

"It's early! This is our train!"

I bolt after him, full-on sprinting across the platform, dragging my suitcase behind me and mentally berating myself for neglecting my running routine.

"Dépêchez-vous!" shouts a contrôleuse, pointing at the door of car five, which fortunately happens to be our car.

We board the train and the door closes behind us three seconds later. We breathe a sigh of relief: Disaster Averted. My friend looks up at the screen displaying the train number, and then looks down at his ticket.

"It's the wrong train," he says grimly.

My eyes widen. "You're kidding."

We spin around and try to open the door, pushing buttons without knowing what they're meant for, to no avail. I turn to glare at him as the train starts moving.

We plant our sweaty selves in the tiny booth meant for passengers making phone calls. I think mournfully of the comfortable window seat I was meant to have on our own train. When the ticket controller comes around, my friend explains our situation in rapid French.

The controller tells us that this train goes directly to Montparnasse train station in Paris and normally costs €80, whereas our tickets to Charles de Gaulle airport were a measly €25. We gape up at him. But he says he won't charge us; Finland is our final destination and requires us to go to the airport. We weren't trying to hitch a ride at a discounted rate.

By the time the controller marks our tickets and leaves, most of the tension my friend and I were feeling has evaporated.

"Well," he says nervously, "at least we're going to Paris."

06 April 2013

The preggo eggo

This morning on my run, I have the delight of spotting a hedgehog. When I get home, I mass-text my excitement to my family. My brother, being an asshole, does not recognize my number. Naturally I prey on his ignorance: Btw I think my eggo is preggo. You're the only possible father.

By the time I decide to send it, though, I've already switched messages. Too late, I realize it has been sent to my father.

Ten seconds later, I begin the explanation texts, you know, that was not for you, I apologize, etc. He immediately calls me, and so does my mother, but I don't answer because do you know how expensive international calling is.

I inform them by text that I am not pregnant, it really was a joke meant for someone else. For whom? My brother. Because that sounds likely.

When I tell my brother about my mistake, he decides to call my dad and tell him that I have in fact been knocked up by my one of my close friends. The fact that I have made plans to go on vacation this summer with that particular friend lends legitimacy to his claim.

And so my parents now believe I am with child and eloping to Finland with my baby daddy. Because that is just so me.

17 March 2013

Geeks and gym class

The combination my increased bookishness over the past couple of months and rewatching every episode of Veronica Mars has tempted me to do something I generally avoid, i.e. reminisce. It's a bit odd, as my reaction to others' nostalgia is usually to leave the room until they've finished, but here goes.

From primary school through high school, gym coaches hated me. It wasn't so much that I was lazy. It was that my attitude regarding gym class was always something like, "Do you mind if I bring a book so I'll have something to do on the soccer field?" Or, "Yes, I saw the ball coming towards me, why do you think I moved?" It all just felt very silly to me, and I was such a klutz about it anyway. The one thing I could play was dodgeball. I mean, I could never hit anyone with the damn ball because I couldn't quite muster up the necessary rage, but my clumsy tendency to drop things combined with my low pain threshold led to the development of quick and sensitive reflexes.

Toward the end of primary school, my parents transferred my brother and me into public school, where we discovered low academic standards. Lessons were slow, and I felt so much time slipping away from me, so I would teach myself at a faster pace and spend the rest of the day reading a book.

Kids had always thought I was weird, but with my rising introversion and literary addiction, and the unrefined masses that comprised the public school system, this is where teasing became a thing. I don't know what impact that was meant to have on me, I would always go back to reading and they would become mute and invisible again.

In Christian school, insults were more like, "Her parents weren't married when she was born, and she hasn't been baptized!" In public school, they became, "What you lookin' at, weirdo." Oh, I'm only coming up for air, and then I'll be back in 19th-century England.

In high school, I discovered a whole herd of nerds in Honors and Advanced Placement classes. There we pretended we were only smarter than everybody else, not really geeks. But I mean. We spent our lunch breaks in the Math Department and National Honor Society meetings.

I think I admitted to liking girls before I called myself a nerd.

Once the Calculus students played a prank on the Pre-Calculus students by writing a Calculus-level problem for our daily warm-up, carefully imitating the teacher's handwriting. Imitating the teacher's handwriting. Yeah, we were the cool kids all right.